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Tukupala Mwalyolo mentors girls youths in drone technology. Photo: Tukupala Mwalyolo.

Tanzanian female drone pilot inspires girls in ICT

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As the world marks International Girls in ICT Day on April 25, a young entrepreneur wants to empower girls in Tanzania.

Tukupala Mwalyolo, a computer engineer and certified drone pilot runs a program to mentor girls in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) field.

“A major challenge is societal expectations…people don’t expect women to pursue ICT as they perceive them to be tough and only suitable for men. The other challenges include lack of resources for girls to utilize in their pursuits and insufficient mentorship and motivation.”

While progress is being made to ensure more girls pursue ICT-related careers, Mwalyolo says more needs to be done.

“We need more programs to motivate girls to participate in the sector and access the same opportunities as men.”

Mwalyolo formed the Youth and Drone Community to address those concerns.

Tukupala Mwalyolo mentors girls youths in drone technology. Photo: Tukupala Mwalyolo.

“Our mission is to inspire youths, with a focus on women to participate in drone technology by offering mentorship and organizing online and in-person seminars. We empower young girls to pursue their interests in this field to solve different challenges in society.”

Mwalyolo shared that incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) in drone technology addresses the needs of marginalized women and girls.

“AI-powered drones can be used in crop spraying and detecting diseases. Their application in precise agriculture increases crop yield and food security, which directly impacts women farmers”, she says.

Tukupala Mwalyolo is the founder of Tukutech, which offers drone solutions. Photo: Tukupala Mwalyolo.

The drone pilot also says that women in the mining sector can use drones to measure the magnetic fields to detect the presence of minerals.”

Her Dar es Salaam-based company, Tukutech, provides drone solutions in agriculture, mining, and environmental sectors.

“Drones save time and resources when surveying areas for minerals. In agriculture, we can spray up to 200 acres daily which is impossible when done by traditional farm machinery. Our drones also do topographical surveys and the maps can be used in sectors like construction and decision-making.

Our biggest goal is harnessing the power of drone technology in solving real-world challenges to increase efficiency and productivity.”

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